The calm before the storm... perhaps an over-used phrase, but I'm sitting here in the Liberal Democrat HQ in Aberystwyth and it is very quiet.  The light is dropping fast, the shops are closing and even students are drifting homewards - the pub will wait until the weekend.

But tomorrow the people of Wales will go to the polls in the local elections.  In many respects, and in the views of lots of people, local government doesn't matter - but tomorrow could not be more important.  Who wins and who loses will set up and frame the result of the General Election on Thursday 8th June 2017.  Let me put it more clearly - the local elections are being used, even abused, as a means of accentuating the scale of Labour failure and bolstering the result of the Conservative Party.  Theresa May, advised by Lynton Crosby, has sidelined the debate on local services and local government in the interests of securing a larger mandate in her vision of elected dictatorship.

Now in my book this would be bad enough, but she is now stoking it up with language attacking our friends and allies in and across Europe.  The dislike of europe, hatred or fear of foreigners is being developed into a narrative that makes UKIP look like Tory-lite.  Well, NOT IN MY NAME.

Tomorrow the people of Wales have the chance to vote and as the newest (and as a temporary) member of the Welsh Liberal Democrats I hope you vote for candidates who stand for tolerance, for inclusive and for equality.  There are across Wales 70 Liberal Democrat councillors who are fighting to defend their seats - I hope, I pray and I am frankly desperate that they hold and we gain more.  I hope that in this beautiful nation the message of narrow feral politics that Theresa May is whipping up is rejected and the March of Liberalism can start again.  We need a strong nerve, we need to set a steady pace and we need to hold our heads high.  

"I am a Liberal and I am against this sort of thing" - said Clarence Willcock in the face of ID cards in the 1950s.  Now the same is true.  Tomorrow I shall vote Liberal Democrat and hold my head high.  Proud of Britain and hopeful for the future, nervous and worried, but hopeful.

Good luck Wales, good luck Liberal Democrats.  Go get yourselves elected.